Our View: Animal control uniformity

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 12:59 PM

Editorial Board, Standard-Examiner

A comprehensive animal control ordinance that would provide uniformity in Weber County is a worthy goal, and we hope it can be accomplished by officials. Weber County officials have received a newly written animal control ordinance. Weber County Sheriff’s Lt. Chad Ferrin cited the many different animal ordinances in the county as one reason for the comprehensive animal ordinance.

Having comprehensive animal control rules for the county is a great idea for Ogden and the other communities in Weber county. Animal control efforts have generated for the county some criticism. For example, Utah has been rated as one of the worst states in the nation for animal protection laws by the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

According to Ferrin, in areas such as Ogden, fewer than 30 percent of residents obtain licenses for their pets. “I know by reading reports by my officers that they are encountering people who do not license their animals on almost a daily basis,” said Ferrin, who is in charge of the Weber County Animal Shelter.

We have suggestions for comprehensive animal control reform. The first is to get residents to license their pets. One benefit of licensing is that animals receive the rabies vaccine. That’s a dangerous disease that is fatal. There’s no excuse not to have a pet licensed. Also, as anyone who walks through neighborhoods knows, too many owners fail to comprehend that their dog needs to be on a leash. Animal Control should go through neighborhoods, perhaps with a dog on a leash, and cite pet owners who allow their unleashed dogs to rush at the leashed animal.

To get the comprehensive animal control law, many smaller communities will have to OK it. We hope that’s accomplished, and the quality of animal control rises as a result of the new ordinance.

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